Covid-19: Remoting becoming the new reality

Covid-19: Remoting becoming the new reality image
by David Bennett, Commercial Director of the eKeeper Group
In-between the headlines of countries closing their borders, panic buying, stock market fluctuations and statistics, individuals and businesses continue to react to the profound effects of Covid-19. Not only during this period of social distancing, but what this will mean when some resemblance of normality returns.

Is this about furloughing and the nation salivating over crashing through some box sets while bemoaning another excellently prepared dish of pasta and tinned chopped tomatoes (assuming you can still find these products in the supermarket), but for those in financial services, who understand the health of economy and its nuanced mechanics over longer periods of time, the fallout of Covid-19 is likely to have larger societal changes. 

Remote working and engagement are far more of a reality compared to ten years ago than the swine flu was. We now have readily available internet access, two-way audio and video through centralised or cloud applications. Financial services is a prime example of where the majority of business interactions and engagements can be or have been easily lifted into the digital world.  Typically, such functionality would often be couched under the banner of convenience and engagement, but now it is an enabling technology that provides essential continuity during the current crisis.

This covers, research and initial customer acquisition through digital broker platforms to start their journeys; client portals to securely communicate with your clients and transfer documents back and forth without the need to be face-to-face; electronic signatures, video conferencing, and enhanced broker due-diligence with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks. Not to mention Open Banking and credit reports, all of which provide the tools for financial advice to continue. 

Back-office processes are made more visible through effective case management tools, document management, and workflow, all of which can be supplemented through instant messaging and video conferencing. 

Key workers such as those in the emergency services, health-care services and part of the overall supply chain, cannot utilise many of these tools, but mortgage intermediaries continue to function effectively and support their customers. In fact, with new social measures keeping more people at home, there’s the opportunity to re-engage with your client bank and opportunities for protection.  This could be retention or re-mortgage related, but it could be just that human touch to ensure that another person is OK or that the world is still turning and someone has got their back.  Technology doesn’t do this, but technology exists to enable brokers to make that difference, even in these challenging times.

So is it opportunistic to highlight how technology can ensure that intermediaries can continue to function remotely in the current and post Covid-19 world?  No, we evolve to meet the challenges and demands of the environment we live in and within this technology can help financial services, especially at a time when many need reassurances or the ability to continue as normal.

David Bennett, Commercial Director of the eKeeper Group